What Red Flags Are You Missing in your Life?
Many clients have a “red flag problem.” They don’t see the truth in front of their eyes, then get blindsided by it. Not seeing red flags is a human trait, especially when we’re young and naïve and learning what life is all about. By doing dumb things and getting hurt, we avoid doing them again. That’s how we survive and grow into mature adults.
But ignoring red flags as an adult will only do you in. Below are some possibilities. Feel free to add your own. Are there exceptions to them? Of course. But I wouldn’t chance finding out.
- Dysfunctional organizations. You go for a job interview and talk to employees who all say they’re unhappy. Your new boss seems demanding, controlling and to care little about his subordinates. You feel a sense of total disorganization and dysfunction that, you’re told, has been that way for a long time and isn’t likely to change.
- Narcissists. They’re everywhere, these self-centered, manipulative, unempathic people. They’re envious, thin-skinned, competitive, and won’t let you get a word in edgewise. You feel invisible, unheard and invalidated in their company.
- Sociopaths/psychopaths. They lie, cheat, bully, manipulate and deceive without conscience. Though you’ve seen them do this to others, you think they’ll be nice to you. Charming one minute and cruel the next, saying one thing and doing another, they’re focused on winning, employ a double standard and laugh at ethics.
- People who refuse to go to therapy. They say they’re fine and that there’s something wrong with you and, insisting, “I won’t go because: I don’t want someone telling me what to do/It’s all a bunch of hooey/I’m too private/There’s nothing wrong with me/If I go, it means I’m crazy/They just want your money.” People who refuse to go to therapy are fearful and insecure and are highly unlikely change.
- People with a history of shattered relationships. I don’t mean they’ve made one or two mistakes. I’m talking about folks who insist they’re fine, minimize their intimacy failures, and blame their former partners. Their relationships are in shambles—marriages, friendships, business associates. Tight with someone one minute, they cut off the relationship the next. They assure you that your relationship is different.
- Anyone who is actively drinking, drugging, gambling or has a sex, pornography, work or computer addiction—or is in early recovery. Again, they may have potential, but are not ready for a healthy relationship quite yet.
Keep these red flags in mind and learn to spot them when they’re only pink to save yourself some trouble. And maybe even reduce your emotional eating.